Doesn’t it look quite so difficult to believe if someone offered you cloud storage for hundreds of gigabytes absolutely free? Symform is a cloud storage company that offers exactly that. You have to pay no money to get cloud storage from Symform; all you pay them is extra storage space available on your computer.
Symform has created this revolutionary idea of storing others’ files right on your computer as a means of networked storage (which is known as cooperative storage cloud). I have got questions in my inbox from people asking whether this is really true or if any scam is involved. It seemed to most too good to be true. Let’s look at the details in this post.
The Basic Idea
It’s an interesting idea. Let’s assume you need 10 GB of cloud storage. To get that 10 GB free, you have to sign up with Symform and allocate 20 GB from your computer for the Symform network. That is a 2:1 ratio that you have to maintain. Symform takes twice the amount of space you need in cloud from your system’s free storage space.
The 20 GB you are giving is most probably from hundreds of GBs you have remaining on your computer. As long as you can give twice the amount of space you need from Symform, you can get completely free cloud service from them.
The advantages as quoted by Symform are many. They state that they provide high level of security, availability, backup, etc. Initially, when you sign up, Symform gives you 10 GB of free space.
How Cooperative Cloud Works
Imagine Symform has currently 10 customers, each contributing 20 GB each for a total of 200 GB in the cooperative cloud. In exchange, each of these ten customers can have 10 GB of storage each, for a total of 100 GB. You are one among them.
Now here is how the system works:
- 1. Your 20 GB goes into Symform’s storage pool.
- 2. Imagine you store 5 GB of data initially; this data is then broken down into parts and sent over to five other systems.
- 3. Symform also adds redundancy to the data. That means, copies of a few of your data blocks are stored on extra systems to ensure data availability.
- 4. When you require the data, even if one or two of the ten systems are not available, your data can be retrieved from other systems in which your data is stored redundantly.
That was the basic idea of cooperative cloud. Symform takes it to another level, in which data is stored in many different computers, making the chances of corruption and availability at the minimum. Take a look at the image below that illustrates the actual system:
With encryption and breaking down the data into many blocks of small size, the integrity and security of the data are preserved.
The redundancy added is 1.5x. That means, if you have 5 GB of data, Symform actually stores 5X1.5=7.5 GB in the cloud. 2.5 GB of the data is in redundancy. That means, even if a number of systems fail (a very remote chance in the actual implementation), your data can be retrieved properly.
Now, Is It Really a Scam?
Now the big question, is Symform doing any illegal business there? The idea of cooperative cloud has been around for some time now. It is a legitimately good idea for proper cloud storage. In the world where big companies like Google and Apple are creating huge data centers around the world to store user files, cooperative cloud makes a difference.
Huge data centers take up huge amounts of power to operate, some take up the entire power required by a small city to operate. In such a world, building a cooperative cloud system gives you not only security and availability, but also makes the environment clean.
Symform is not a scam at all. The idea of cooperative cloud is real. It is an efficient and perfectly legitimate way of storing your files.
With that said, I have no idea how popular Symform has become or how successful the service has gone. It needs to be seen in the coming days. It depends on how they operate the company and how they manage the data.
[Image credit: Symform]